These tasty little treats are easy to make, visually impressive, and supremely delicious. They pack all the flavor of a sophisticated shrimp parmagiana into one bite!
The pasta nests hold together perfectly (thanks to the aid of some grated Parmesan) so they make a fun and unusual party appetizer.
Be advised: you might want to make a few extra for ‘sampling’ purposes in the kitchen.
Here’s how to make the New World Italian Shrimp Angel Hair Nests:
8 ounces (dry weight) angel hair pasta, cooked in salted water according to package directions (see Cook’s Notes)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 Tbsp minced fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs
36 extra large cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (here’s our video where we show you how to easily process shrimp)
2 cups pasta sauce (your choice; I used Porcini mushroom flavored sauce)
36 small capers
Extra Parmesan or grated mozzarella (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cooked pasta with 1/2 cup of the cheese and basil.
Rub or brush 36 mini muffin pan cups with olive oil. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese with the breadcrumbs. Dust the bottoms and sides of the muffin cups with the mixture.
Twirl a small amount of pasta (about 6-8 strands) on a serving fork (twirling the fork against a tablespoon is helpful) and carefully place it in one of the muffin cups. Press the pasta against the sides and make a depression in the middle. Bake for 10-15 minutes. (see Cook’s Notes)
While the nests are baking, heat the shrimp in the pasta sauce. When the nests are ready, spoon a shrimp and some sauce into each cup. Top each with a caper and some extra cheese, if desired. Pass briefly under the broiler to melt the cheese. Makes 36 appetizers.
Cook the pasta to the full doneness stage (not al dente); it will dry slightly during baking and will be to tough if started from the al dente phase.
The pasta will shrink a bit during baking, so make sure the cups are at least 3/4 full.
The nests are done when the breadcrumbs and cheese are nicely browned.
Please join us tomorrow to read our newest food and cooking article: 20 Fresh and Canned Pumpkin Recipe Ideas: Beyond Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Bread.
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